Monday, June 22, 2009

The Twenty-Second Day of June

Complaints of the Heart of Jesus.

Let us give ear to the complaints which the Heart of Jesus deigns to make to us. They are a fresh proof of His love, for He complains, only because He loves, and He loves us solely for our happiness without any consideration of His own, which is neither lessened by our loss nor increased by our salvation. He asks: "What more ought I to have done for you, O Christian people, and have not done it? In what have I grieved you? Answer me. I have set you apart from amongst the nations which I left seated in darkness and in the shadow of everlasting death to impart to you the incomparable gift of the true faith, and you have rendered it fruitless by your indifference. You were a beautiful vine which I had planted with my own hands, and you have borne me but bitter fruit, for, in my thirst you gave me vinegar to drink. And by your ingratitude and coldness, much more than by the point of the lance, you have pierced your Savior’s side. I shed for you all my blood, even to the last drop, and what value have you set upon it? What profit have you derived from it? I called you to my kingdom and my inheritance and you have given me a reed for my scepter and a crown of thorns for my diadem by the inconstancy of your heart and by the pride and haughtiness of your behavior. In taking upon me your nature I have raised you to a participation of my divinity, and you nailed me to the cross by your offences."

"I fed you, not with the manna which your fathers ate and which did not preserve them from death, but with that bread from heaven which contains in itself eternal life, and you have torn my mystical body by denying even this ineffable benefit which is the admiration of angels. O all ye, then, that pass by the way of life, attend and see if there be any sorrow like to that which my Heart feels at such ingratitude."

Our divine Savior complains, again, to His faithful servant Margaret Mary in a manner no less moving; "Behold this Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to wasting and consuming itself, to testify to them its love. And nevertheless I receive, from the greater part but ingratitude in return, through the neglect, irreverence, sacrileges, and coldness which they show towards me in my sacrament of love. And what afflicts me still more is, that I meet with this treatment from hearts which are specially consecrated to me." Another time disclosing to her His Heart all torn and pierced with wounds: "Behold the wounds which I receive from my chosen people. Others are satisfied with wounding my body, but these assail my Heart, that Heart which has never ceased to love them."

Alas, are we not of the number of these ungrateful souls? Is it not of us that Jesus complains; of us who have been enlisted in His service by holy baptism and are fed so often with His sacred Body; of us, who are consecrated, perhaps, to His Heart in some association charged with the task of repairing so many outrages and who are nevertheless so cold, so indifferent, towards this divine Heart? Alas with what truth may He not say to us by the mouth of the royal Prophet: "If my enemy had reviled me, I would verily have borne with it, but to be despised and abandoned by my friends, my children, the chosen objects of my love!" Si inimicus maledixisset mihi, sustinuissem utique (Ps. liv. 13).

"My Heart," adds our divine Master to His faithful servant, "may truly complain in this mystery (of the Blessed Sacrament) as it did upon the Cross, that it is exposed to shame and grief without consolation. In this abandonment it seeks for consolation from you, and from a chosen number of fervent souls. I look to you to repair by your homage those injuries which are inflicted on me." Ah, if today we hear the voice of His complaints and sorrows, let us not harden our hearts. How happy should we be, if the Heart of Jesus itself were pleased to choose us, as He chose His Apostles, to make Him some amends, and to console Him for the abandonment in which He is left by so many ungrateful hearts! Let us redouble our fidelity, then, in our practices of devotion towards this amiable Heart, and let us protest to Him that with the help of His grace we will never abandon Him.

Practice: It is in prayer that you will learn the excess of the love of Jesus for you and the ingratitude with which you have repaid it. This knowledge will awaken in you regret and love, and will enable you to undertake all for Jesus. Never pass a single day, then, without making at least a quarter of an hour’s prayer. It is one of the most powerful means of salvation, so that St. Theresa does not hesitate to say that she will answer for the perseverance of those who are faithful in making their prayer, and that on the contrary, those who neglect this holy exercise have no need of devils to drag them down to hell, for they throw themselves into it of their own accord. In this she advances nothing beyond the truth, for Holy Scripture tells us that the earth is desolate and filled with woe because there is no one who considers or enters into his own heart.

Ejaculatory Prayer: O Heart of Jesus, by a prodigy of Thy grace, inflame even my heart, hitherto so ungrateful, with the fire of Thy love.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

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